Has the idea of food tourism ever came to mind? Well, Kenya is the place to be. Kenyan dishes are among the best you will ever devour. Ask any Kenyan who lives away and they will tell you how much they miss Kenyan cuisine. Kenya is a country with 42 tribes and almost every community has its own unique dish. The culinary scene varies throughout the country. The fact is you will never taste all of them but make sure you try the following dishes before leaving Kenya so you can judge Kenya’s cuisine.

1. Ugali (Cornmeal)

Ugali (Cornmeal)
Ugali (Brown)

Ugali is undoubtedly the national food in Kenya. It resembles polenta (Italian raw cornmeal) and is on every Kenyan menu. Coming to Kenya and not eating ugali would be like visiting Paris for the first time and not taking a photo of the Eiffel Tower.

While on an official visit to Kenya as the President of the U.S, Barack Obama talked fondly of how he used to eat ugali with his sister.

Ugali is made by constantly mixing maize flour or cornmeal with hot water over heat until it reaches a dough-like consistency. Maize flour is the most often used, but you can also use millet flour, cassava flour, or sorghum.

In Kenyan villages, people prefer a heavier flour made by grinding maize in a mill without removing any nutrients. The denser the ugali, the more filling and nutritious, in my opinion.

2. Samaki (Fish)

Fish is samaki’ in Swahili. Tilapia and Nile perch’ from freshwater lakes in Kenya (Lake Victoria and Lake Naivasha) are popular meals in Kenya. They can either be served dry fried or wet fried.

Samaki is popular with specific communities in Kenya, especially the Luo and Luhya in the west, but anyone can enjoy it.

3. Omena (Silver Fish)

The proper name Silver Cyprinid is unknown by most Kenyans. The majority know it as omena, a beloved delicacy that graces tables across the country. Walk through any food market and you won’t fail to miss the baskets filled with omena ready for sale to eager customers. Omena is rich in calcium, an essential element in forming healthy bones and teeth. It is very popular among the Luo community.